The news was broken on Estus’ social media accounts. “It is with real sadness I post that Deon Estus passed away This Morning,” read a post on Twitter. “Deon was mostly known as the third member of Wham! Deon was passionate about music and loved interacting with his loyal fans.”
His death was confirmed by his partner Brenda Kaye Pierce on Facebook. “My dearest, closest partner and significant other of 4 years transitioned and all I can remember is our last conversation the day before,” she wrote. “My heart will need time to heal. R.I.P. Deon. Love you forever.” The cause of death has not been publicly reported.
Born in Detroit in 1956, Estus joined pop duo Wham! in the 1980s, and become such an integral part of the group that he was sometimes called Wham!’s third member. He accompanied Michael on his 1988-1989 “The Faith Tour,” and in 1989 he released the solo album Spell. This included three singles: the title track; the modest dance hit, “Me or the Rumors;” and “Heaven Help Me,” which was co-written and featured vocals from Michael, and which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard charts.
According to his bio, Estus also contributed to Marvin Gaye’s final album Midnight Love, and he played bass for such luminaries as Elton John, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, George Clinton, and Annie Lennox. Revisit some of his best-known songs below.
It is with real sadness I post that Deon Estus passed away This Morning. Deon was mostly known as the third member of Wham! Deon was passionate about music and loved interacting with his loyal fans.#onlyloveisreal @billboard @RollingStone @BBCBreaking pic.twitter.com/uGje66JDTa
— Deon Estus (@DeonEstus) October 11, 2021